Perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I woke up at 5 AM as usual, with the intention of hiking my 15 miles today. By 5:30, I was making pancakes – this hostel allows and even encourages hikers to make their own breakfasts and provides the raw materials. It was only Bisquick pancakes, but I spiced it up with cinnamon and nutmeg, since I had no fruit – the people who did were not awake yet! It felt very VERY good to be cooking again, even so. Like a slice of life that I had sorely been missing, without even realizing it.
Somewhere over breakfast (someone else made the eggs), I realized just how tired I was. Not from lack of sleep; my whole body just felt exhausted. I checked the blog, and came to the conclusion that taking a full zero day was a wise decision – my last one was June 15, and I’ve been increasing my mileage steadily since. So, since there was room at the hostel tonight, that is exactly what I did. I went back up to the room and slept some more, read some, generally relaxed until about 11 am.
Then I went into Manchester Center, which is a pretty town, full of shops, and framed by the Green Mountains. I did some shopping – mostly at the outfitters (VT AT patch, some maple syrup in a squeezable pouch, a plastic lightweight cup, and out of the hiker box, some Sawyer brand collapsible water containers.). I also visited a vinegar and oil shop, and practically swooned over the maple balsamic vinegar they sell there, I have their information so I can order some later. A lot more windowshopping, it was well worth it. Price Chopper was the final stop; my agenda was ingredients for Western omelets tomorrow – an onion, red and green pepper, Canadian bacon, and cheese.
There are only three others staying here tonight, all of them guys. One is Chinese, one rides a motorcycle in addition to hiking, and one is zeroing here tomorrow. Sadly, to my chagrin, none of them know how to play Texas Hold’Em, and they are off watching Forrest Gump anyway. But today was nice for making me feel like Betsy Hagen again, and not thru-hiker Ziptie. I watched part of the Bourne Ultimatum DVD, I relaxed, then I chopped up the veggies and refrigerated them; whenever we each get up tomorrow, the ingredients are there and ready for omelets. It was so refreshingly NORMAL.
Tomorrow I will hit the trail again; and I do plan to do 15 miles. I’m trying to time things so that I am in Rutland, 32 miles north, on Thursday – I will rent a car that day and do some driving, then go visit my sister up in Westfield, VT. Ironically, the problem is that I have too much time to get to Rutland, not too little. I’ll work it out – some bigger mountains to climb, so maybe it will work itself out, if I have to decrease the mileage each day. I should be back on the trail by Monday at the latest, though. New Hampshire is looming on the horizon.
I have gone about 630 miles now, with 538 to go until Katahdin… I’m getting there! It’s taking a while, but I am getting there! 🙂
I hike on. For real.